COMMENTARY | Caron Butler's stay in Phoenix consisted of a press conference introducing him to the city and a fashion shoot showing off a jersey he'll never wear in a game.
On the surface, the trade looks awfully lopsided. The truth is that it's a positive move for both teams and another step in the right direction for the Suns.
Butler wasn't going to be a part of the rebuilding plan currently in motion for the Suns. He was a necessary part of the trade that brought Eric Bledsoe to the desert and would have been an excellent veteran presence, but only for a season at most.
As an expiring contract, Butler would have likely been moved at the trade deadline. Moving him now gives the Suns some financial flexibility. Whether they use that flexibility to soften the blow of the $9 million still owed to Michael Beasley remains to be seen.
The Suns' acquisition of Smith and Kravtsov is about as underwhelming as it gets. Neither figures to be a member of the regular rotation, but it does tell us that the Suns aren't done.
Why would they move Butler now instead of at the trade deadline unless there was a motivation to do so?
One thought is that the Suns can use the financial flexibility to acquire more young assets. The reason they were able to acquire Bledsoe and Butler in the first place was because of their ability to take on contracts.
Now that the Suns have room to take on salary again, they can move Marcin Gortat (another expiring contract) and acquire some solid young assets to the already overflowing pile amassed by general manager Ryan McDonough.
The hole left by Butler at small forward can be filled by Marcus Morris or P.J. Tucker. It's a positive that they can continue to get quality experience. It's also a hole that will need to be filled at some point, perhaps in the 2014 NBA draft.
The Suns have never drafted No. 1 in the history of the franchise and could use some luck. The sayings "luck is for losers" and "winners make their own luck" both apply. The Suns are putting themselves in position to lose, which in turn will allow them a greater chance to win the lottery.
Hey, doesn't that Andrew Wiggins guy play small forward?
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who covers Phoenix Suns practices and games for the site he founded, HoopsHabit.com.Follow @DunlapNBA on Twitter!
- Sports & Recreation
- Phoenix Suns
- Caron Butler